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:: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 ::


Hubris tends to bring down the assholes sooner or later:
Remember USANext's smear job on AARP -- the internet-only ad that tried to marginalize the AARP out of the Social Security debate by suggesting that the group has something against American soldiers but loves gay marriage? Rick Raymen and Steve Hansen haven't forgotten. They're the Oregon couple shown kissing in the USANext ad. Today in Washington, they filed a $25 million lawsuit against USANext.
Remember, folks, to the GOP "gays" aren't real people. They don't have pesky rights and such.

It's a mistake they make a lot. Nice to see it biting them on the ass.
:: Morat 10:57 AM :: ::

:: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 ::

Bush to U.N.: Drop Dead

Fred Kaplan is SO cute. His latest offering at Slate promises that Bush will "regret" his appointment of Bolton as UN Ambassador.

Isn't that the cutest thing? It's even more cute than those papers that endorsed Bush because he'd "do everything different in his second term".

How Kaplan can -- after four years of watching Curious George -- think that Bush will regret snubbing the UN is beyond me. How do you manage to be that clueless and naive and still get paid? I wonder how I could land such a sweet, sweet deal....
:: Morat 9:13 AM :: ::

:: Monday, March 07, 2005 ::

Word Games

PZ Myers was talking about Horowitz and other idiocies and something caught my eye (the bolding is mine):
It's an interesting tactic. I'm sure that if you looked through a list of invited speakers to our science department, there's a noticeable deficiency of creationists, perpetual motion machine inventors, and anti-environment crackpots. This is discrimination, in the sense of discernment, since they simply aren't worth taking seriously. In the same sense, the kind of hysterical know-nothing extremists that reside on Horowitz's side of the political spectrum are discriminated against, with good reason: they are the antithesis of the spirit of learning that should be present at any decent university.
Does the English language even have a specific and commonly used word for "using judgment and reason to choose between options"?

Discrimination used to mean that -- but it's a dirty word, now. You don't want to be a "man of discrimination".

I wonder what that says about our society? I'm pretty verbose, but I can't think of a single good word for that -- at least not one most people would use. Is that simply something Americans don't value anymore? The ability to choose wisely?
:: Morat 10:39 AM :: ::

Krugman and Klein

Oliver Willis sums up the Krugman/Klein "Meet the Press" conversation better than anyone else:
There was an exchange on this morning's Meet The Press that was so symptomatic of the acrimony between the two camps within the Democratic party. Joe Klein, after getting through a bunch of nonsense slamming the Democratic position on social security, tried to paint Paul Krugman's tepid sentiment towards a Hillary Clinton candidacy as a left vs. center thing.

You don't get it, Joe.

This is no longer a tussle between the party's liberal and moderate wings. The moderate wing won that battle, and you don't hear any rational person wishing for the 'glory days' of Mike Dukakis. The problem is, we did not build a party infrastructure capable of being as strong and advocate for Democrats as President Clinton was.

This is a battle over how to be Democrats, not over what Democrats believe in. There are two tracks to go on: an accomodationist posture in search of bipartisanship that doesn't exist, or finally being as tough as the GOP purports to be. The 'toughs' have won the party chairmanship and the social security battle so far, while the 'accomodationists' have given rubber stamps to Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzales. (These aren't hard and fast, as people have been in both camps).
That, right there, strikes to the heart of the Dean movement, the growing contempt of the DLC, and the Democrat's political problems over the last decade.

There is no longer any room for accommodation. Not because we, on the left, don't want to play fair and offer compromises. We'd love to. But the GOP no longer plays that game.

The GOP does not negotiate in good faith. Compromise with them? Support them? They'll strip out the compromises in committee, than beat you over the head with your vote come election time. They do not have any interest in accommodation.

Dean grasped this. The grassroots have grasped this. The DLC has not. Many people -- especially DLC people -- want to view this as an ideology problem. They want to believe the grassroots are just liberal extremists, that it's all the anger of a tiny minority of Nader voters. It's not. It's about reality.

We're tired of being saps for the GOP. We're tired of selling out for a compromise we never actually get.

What shocks me is the lengths the DLC will go through to ignore this. Paul Krugman is called a "shrill lefty". The man's more conservative, especially economically, than the bulk of the party. Dean an extremist? He was a poster boy for centrist Democrats and his policies haven't changed that much. Reid's winning acclaims from the grassroots for fighting and Lieberman's getting primary threats....and the DLC would probably have you believe that's because Reid is a lot more "liberal" than Lieberman.

They don't want to hand over power, and they don't want to change. One or the other has to give. With the rise of Dean, and the changes Reid has been implementing, I'm thinking they've passed their chance at change.
:: Morat 9:15 AM :: ::

Tax Cuts Lose Spot On GOP Agenda

This is where Grover's "starve the beast" plan runs smack into reality:
President Bush and Republican lawmakers are being forced to temper their anti-tax ambitions, as the party that consolidated power in Washington by promising to shrink government grapples with the high cost of its efforts to expand the Defense Department and the nation's two largest entitlement programs.

The president's only new tax initiative for the second term -- a broad restructuring of the tax code -- will be crafted in a way that results in a simpler system, not lower taxes, White House aides said.

At the same time, Bush's call for Congress to make permanent all the tax cuts enacted in his first term faces increasingly strong resistance among some Republicans concerned about rising deficits. The chairmen of the Senate Budget and Finance committees said in interviews last week that Republicans might wait until next year, or later, to consider the Bush plan, because the cuts do not expire until the end of the decade.
See, here's the problem with the "Starve the beast" plan -- it ravages the economy over the short-term. Now, some businessmen and investors are blindly ideological, but the bulk of the good ones aren't. They can't be, if they want to make money.

Bush's deficit spending is starting to warp the entire damn economy. Grover and some of the crazier members of the GOP might be willing to put up with several years of exploding economy in order to sell small government, but the businessmen and women who support the GOP aren't. They're in this to make money, after all. They're not willing to gamble a decade of crappy economy on maybe long-term gains down the road. The reward isn't worth the risk.

So they're starting to lean on the party to rein in spending and raise taxes. Which is a real problem for the GOP because "lower taxes" is about the only thing the bulk of the party agrees on. Raising taxes runs a serious risk of opening some big fissures in the GOP but ignoring the deficit runs the risk of a lot of their bigger players backing Democrats -- at least until they Democrats fix the budget again.

Given Bush's favored method of garnering votes and soothing voting blocs is targeted spending and tax cuts, well.....you can see the bind the GOP is in. They're damned if they do, damned if they don't.

It's the downside of holding all the levers of power. And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of ideological fanatics, in my humble opinion.
:: Morat 8:57 AM :: ::

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